Can it get any worse?

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Mandatory Credit: Photo by SHAWN THEW/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock (9808893c) The American flag flies over the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 27 August 2018. The flag was lowered to half staff yesterday in honor of the passing of John McCain. White House flag, Washington, USA - 27 Aug 2018

Just when I think that there can be no lower bottom, my President finds another way to lower the standard of decent behavior and dignity of the office.

As a psychologist I can only think that we have the personification of the personality type known as narcissism. Below are three definitions of this personality quirk, one from the dictionary, one from the field of psychology, and one from the field of psychoanalysis. Each are an appropriate description of the public Mr. Trump.

DICTIONARY
Excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one’s physical appearance.

Synonyms: Vanity, self-love, self-admiration, self-absorption, self-obsession, conceit, self-centeredness, self-regard, egotism, egoism. “his emotional development was hindered by his mother’s narcissism”.

PSYCHOLOGY
Extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type.

PSYCHOANALYSIS
Self-centeredness arising from failure to distinguish the self from external objects, either in very young babies or as a feature of mental disorder.

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Again, under full disclosure, I admit that I, somewhat reluctantly, voted for Mr. Trump. I did so because I thought he would appoint Federal and Supreme Court judges that returned us to a stricter rule of law and did not seek to govern and make laws on their own. Perhaps Mr. Trump deserves some credit for trying to bring balance to foreign trade (I admit that I have no idea whether the purported imbalance is true or not), and some credit for any progress between North and South Korea.

Having said that, I usually wait each morning for the latest self-centered, ungracious tweet or quote from Mr. Trump.There seems to not be an occasion or event that he can resist slamming anyone who had the temerity to differ with him, question his policies, or even question his judgement and then turn the spotlight on himself.

I have seen him take the occasion to honor the American Indian Wind Talkers who played a key role in the Pacific campaign of World War II to insult a senator; chastise a basketball player who used his own money to endow a school and get slammed because he once differed with the President and then dared to speak out about it. World leaders and allies get insulted regularly. This list goes on and on, but today he has reached a new low that defies imagining anything more base.

A senator who served in Viet Nam and was prisoner of war, refusing to be sent home until all other prisoners were released, died this weekend. A senator who twice ran for President. A senator who stood for his principles (some of which I disagreed with). A man who came home from war and elected to spend the rest of his life in service to his fellow citizens.This Senator, war hero, and servant of the people, because he differed frequently and loudly with Mr. Trump, did not receive the dignity of having the flags on the White House lowered to half-staff, like the rest of the United States was doing. Lest we think that this was an innocent mistake, apparently both his Chief of Staff and his Vice President tried to get him to lower the flag and respect the service of this man. But no, the fact that senator McCain had the gall to differ with this narcissistic man was a sufficient reason to insult his memory and service.>

The only silver lining in this entire despicable affair is that I cannot imagine anything worse. On the other hand, I fear that as his desperation and siege mentality sets in and as staff continues to exit, we may have not seen the lower limits of what our President can do.

I pray I am wrong in this and that we have seen bottom, but as I look at the definitions above, I am not so sure.

Update 28 August: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45323772

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Dennis F.
Dennis has lived or traveled in Australia, the United States and Asia. He is an Army veteran with a PhD in Child and Developmental Psychology. He currently lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina, USA, with his wife Nancy and two dogs. Dennis is keenly interested in antiques, particularly militaria and coins. He occupies his time researching and writing for The Silver Life and caretaking houses for the summer residents of the mountains.

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